Can too much Turmeric cause side effects?

25 August 2021
Turmeric is a popular yellow spice that can be found in a vast range of popular dishes. However, it’s not just a great addition to your favourite dishes - it also offers a number of health benefits, thanks to its main active ingredient, curcumin.

From helping to reduce inflammation, improving antioxidant status and improving blood vessel function, through to reducing heart attack risk and stroke risk [1], research has shown that turmeric is helping people in all corners of the globe to treat and manage a wide range of conditions.

But can too much turmeric cause side effects?

 Both turmeric and curcumin are generally considered safe without people having to worry about developing serious side effects after consumption. However, as with any supplement, it is important to be aware of the side effects.
There is a small amount of evidence indicating that excessive consumption can cause some side effects including a risk of developing kidney stones in predisposed individuals. This is because turmeric contains around 2% oxalate which has been linked to this condition in both men and women [2].

 There have also been reports of people who have consumed turmeric in high doses experiencing a number of other side effects, including nausea, upset stomach, dizziness and diarrhoea.
Of course, the severity of these side effects does vary depending on the person as well as the amount of turmeric consumed. Experts have advised that people should avoid consuming excessively large doses of turmeric  [3].

Curcumin dosage: so, what’s safe?

 Understanding how much turmeric to consume is key to avoiding any unpleasant side effects and the risk of developing other conditions.

 As a general rule, if you’re taking turmeric in supplement form, the concentration of curcumin and other curcuminoids is significantly higher than it is in a typical serving of ground turmeric. In this case, it can be as high as 95% compared to 3%.
 As a result, a supplement containing 0.5g of turmeric extract provides around 400mg of curcuminoids, whereas 0.5g of the ground spice only offers around 15mg [4].

 12g of curcumin per day has been shown to be generally safe. However, in certain instances, high levels of curcumin and other curcuminoids in turmeric supplements may cause negative reactions. This is more likely to occur in those with certain health conditions [5].

 Ultimately, turmeric is considered entirely safe for the vast majority of people, however, the amount consumed should always be controlled.
 Always talk to your doctor before adding a new supplement to your regime

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